A River Run Through Us
The golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand; the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they’re gone.
~George Eliot (1819-1890)
Every day we are endowed with a fresh hourglass of 86,400 measured moments of possibility. Many are frittered to frivolity or plainly unfulfilled, while the majority are given up to the race of “getting things done.” It’s like we’re racing the clock to squeeze out some free time. That’s as fruitful as squeezing water out of a rock.
Our over-pixilated and bombarded sensory systems are easily pulled into the productive agenda of the world around us. Americans historically struggle to keep free-time free. Status anxiety and insecurity around our future security drive the stressometer to full tilt. It’s important to see how much the messages of our capitalistic agenda coerce us to produce, strive, and accomplish, but not necessarily be fulfilled by these pursuits. The current expectation resonates like a battle cry, “my terms, in my time, the way I like it or I’m out of here,” which is a pretty tall order to fill. If we don’t slow down the speed of our life, how can meaningful possibilities discover us in a receptive state?
The solution appears in bringing quality to the fleeting moments we do have. It literally only takes one second to stop everything and be grateful, yet doing this is one of our biggest challenges. I’ve come to see that taking time out, throwing a few moments of possibility back into possibility’s face – is extremely rewarding, and a somewhat radical political act these days. It’s not a waste, it’s a revolution. Reclaim the time in your life by tithing it to acts that don’t pressure it for productivity: meditate, breathe, and smile is one very good sequence.
When we engage in new activities the experience of time feels more spacious. Utilize the equivalent of “traffic calming zones” throughout your days via chimes, post-its, and alarm clocks that return your focus to a spacious awareness. Break up daily routines creatively by making spontaneous choices. Take a different route to the places you frequent and randomly pay compliments to others. Don’t let time fly blindly or it will assuredly pass without a trace.
A human life is precious and should be valued as a short-term treasured gift. I urge each of you to take some time to feel like there’s enough time and that all of your wants have been satisfied. If one is a human doing, outsourcing your experience for remedial accomplishment, your human being ultimately suffers. Aren’t we here on the planet to enjoy this miraculous opportunity? Where are your short circuits, energy vampires, blockages, and attachments to outcomes not congruent with your life? Make changes. You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
Dr. Taylor Donovan